With the sun fully risen, people began departing from Poon Hill. The clouds were intensifying over the peaks; it didn’t look like sticking around any longer was going to yield rewards. I wandered around and took a few more photos. Sol took a few pictures of me in front of the mountains. I asked Sol if we could take a picture together, and we snapped a selfie. I look tired and scruffy, but very happy.
Tempted by the prospect of breakfast waiting for us back at the lodge, Anker, Saffron and I waved goodbye to the mountains, and began our descent.
Pictures from the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek and sunrise over the Annapurna Range.
I’m not going to try and name the peaks because I know I’ll just mangle them. Take the trek yourself; it’s much better in person anyways.
I awoke around 4:30 a.m., shivering in my sleeping bag.
The cheap thing I had rented in Pokhara was performing about as well as I’d feared it would.
Anker had threatened us with a 4:45 a.m. start to catch the sunrise from Poon Hill, so I didn’t bother going back to sleep.
I stumbled to the bathroom. The dormitory was rising, loudly, but that wasn’t really an issue, since everyone in the lodge was going to do the sunrise hike to the nearby hilltop. Everyone had trekked here specifically to see the sun rise over the Annapurna and Dhalaguiri ranges— home to the eighth and tenth tallest mountains in the world. If anything’s worth getting up at 4:45 a.m. for, surely that sight must be near the top of the list.
[ed. note: I’m going to experiment by posting Nepal entries on Tuesday and Thursday instead of MWF. This is a way to let the weekend content breathe a little more, and for me to see if switching up the posting schedule affects traffic in a meaningful way. Thanks for your understanding!]
It was even colder in the teahouse when I woke up from my nap. I would have stayed in my sleeping bag, except I needed to use the bathroom. This lodge, luckily, had western-style toilets. I could not have been more happy to see them after my debacle with the squat toilets the night before.
In my trekking journal, I write: “It is a cold dormitory, plywood thin and relatively unfriendly. But it has a Western toilet, which may as well be the Four Seasons up here.”
Ghorepani was more of a true village than Ulleri had been. There was a general store, which sold touristy things like postcards alongside more useful necessities, like food and hygiene products. There was more than one main path through the village, and buildings which had no clear purpose. The settlement sprawled out for a fair distance on the hillside.
We walked straight through to our guesthouse, the Hotel Snowland. Hotel Snowland was perched pretty high on the hill, affording a great view of some of the far-off peaks. Another benefit of traveling with a guide—they knew which teahouses had the bets views. If I’d been trekking independently, I undoubtedly would have chosen to stay in one of the lodges in town, which had no view of the peaks.